resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Who Knew Massage & Qi Gong Had So Much in Common?
By Suzanne Friedman, LAc
The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon (Neijing) was compiled in 200 BC, and it is still considered the bible of Chinese medicine today. The Neijing discusses four major healing modalities: acupuncture, pharmacology (herbs), massage and qi gong. Qi gong was then called dao yin, which translates as "guiding and pulling" but is sometimes called "gymnastics" in translated texts. Early Chinese medicine and Daoist texts frequently grouped massage and qi gong together as the two most powerful methods of self-healing. Qi gong became an official part of Chinese court medicine by the Tang dynasty, and it is likely that massage therapists were already part of court medicine before that time. In the Tang dynasty, the Office of Medicine employed two massage specialists.
Massage and qi gong are two complementary approaches to bodywork. It is said that qi gong balances the energy, blood and body fluid flow from the inside, and massage strengthens the flow from the outside. Qi gong uses intention and particular body movements to guide the qi in healthy directions, while the physical pressure and body manipulation of massage help to do so from the outside. Daoist masters and early Chinese medicine doctors saw the value of this internal-external approach to balance the body and harmonize the interior and exterior.
Early medical texts from the Daoist canon recommended massage and qi gong, particularly for muscle tension, locomotive and circulation issues, digestive disorders and psychosomatic disorders. Self-massage developed as a means of self-treatment and as warm-up exercises for meditation and qi gong practice, while professional massage therapists were still consulted when treatment was required.
Massage techniques became an integral part of qi gong practice early on. Self-massage warms the body, which stimulates the flow of blood and body fluids. Any qi gong practice that follows is said to be more powerful after circulation has been stimulated in this manner. The physical stimulation of massage will also help the practitioner to feel, and ultimately guide, the qi flow in the body. When you begin a qi gong practice, you start by visualizing the movement of qi until you can feel the flow of qi in your body. Once you can feel the flow of qi, you can then guide it. Thus, massage is a key technique to enhance and accelerate your ability to cultivate and circulate your energy. Likewise, self-massage techniques can loosen tight or stiff muscles that arise from our mostly sedentary lifestyle. If you do not rub or stretch these areas before qi gong exercises, you run the risk of injuring yourself.
Self-massage is also one of the best "quick pick me up" techniques out there. An exercise I like to do when I am feeling worn out or tired is called "Washing the Face." It obviously stimulates the flow of energy in the face, but it is important to remember that many of the yang acupuncture channels that ultimately connect to the brain are also stimulated when you rub your face. When you stimulate these channels, you are also stimulating the energy flow along these channels, which run from the arms to the head, down to the feet, or up to the crown of the head. Thus, your whole body will feel the increase in energy flow.
To practice Washing the Face, begin by placing the pads of your middle fingers on both sides of your nose, on either side of the nostrils. Inhale, and push all the pads of your fingers in and up as you push your hands up towards your scalp, putting pressure on your face wherever your fingers pass. When you exhale, rub your hands down your face to the starting position. I like to take a slow, deep inhale as I rub my hands up, and then do a quick forceful exhale as I bring my hands back down; almost like sneezing! If you repeat this exercise at least nine times, you will definitely feel more invigorated and energized.
While Chinese medicine schools in America now focus primarily on acupuncture and herbology, there is an increasing interest in Chinese medicine bodywork, as evidenced by the many AOBTA-approved Asian bodywork programs being offered by Chinese medicine schools.
The beauty of massage and qi gong is that you can either go to a professional for a treatment, or you can give yourself a treatment. You don't need any special equipment or tools, and you can practice anywhere or anytime you wish. As in the saying "healer, heal thyself," self-massage and qi gong are two ways to keep us strong, healthy and present for our clients and patients.
Dr. Suzanne Friedman is an acupuncturist, herbalist & doctor of medical qigong therapy. She is the Chair of the Medical Qigong Department at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, Calif., where she runs the Medical Qigong Anmo Asian Bodywork Certification program. Her new book, Heal Yourself with Qi Gong, will be released in the spring of 2009.
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